Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I have a pair of slippers. I love my slippers. I got them for Christmas 1987, my junior year of high school. My mom originally got me a pair of boot-style fake shearling slippers, but they didn't fit right and had a really uncomfortable hard plastic sole insert, so we took them back to shoe store at the mall to exchange them. When I saw a pair of real leather shearling moccasins, I knew those were the ones I wanted. So soft, so comfy. However, they were quite a bit more money than the fake shearling ones, $25 rather than $10. I could tell that my mom was reluctant, so I said I'd contribute the extra $15 (which seemed like a really big sum to me at the time- an entire evening of babysitting!) to get the ones I wanted.

They went with me to college in Maine, then to grad school in North Carolina, and were very useful when we lived in a drafty converted barn while Shaun was working on his doctorate. They have been on vacation to Ireland, skiing in Vermont, and were on my feet as I waddled around the hospital while in labor. It was a very well-spent $25.

Now, however, after 19 years of faithful service, it may be time to retire my slippers. I have patched them, and patched the patches. There is no longer enough stable leather on the sides to sew a new patch on. The back flaps have blown out again. The wool inside is felted completely flat and partially rubbed away, and no longer gives the slightest bit of cushioning between my foot and the ground. Rest In Peace, slippers.

In the interest of warm feet, I need new slippers. But I'm crafty, I don't need to buy a pair, I can make my own! Da-da-DAAAA! Felted clogs to the rescue! I may have been the only knitter in the blogiverse who had never made a pair of these, but no longer.

These are the Fiber Trends "Felted Clogs" pattern, by Bev Galeskas, and my first time felting something that has to fit. I must say that despite seeing other people's pictures on the web, I was very doubtful about the pre-felting size.

After two trips through the washer (once with jeans, once with a regular dark load), they turned out just right.

These are made from my own handspun, the same green yarn I used for the mittens (which are done, by the way, but I'm not completely happy with them yet). I made the women's size Large, shoe size 10 according to the pattern, because I think this handspun is slightly on the thin side of "worsted weight" and because I wanted very thick slippers. So I made a size larger than I normally would have and fulled them more. It worked beautifully. I could have stopped at once through the washer and been pretty happy with the fabric, but twice through gave a fulled fabric that is a good 1/4" thick (nearly 1/2" on the double layer sole), is very cushy, and should stand up to years of wear. They fit perfectly, and I may still add a suede sole for even more durability.

I'm currently blocking them on my feet (....wet slippers feel.... interesting), but after they dry a bit, I'll take them off to finish drying on the heater vent.

Here's to the next 19 years.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I am now officially tempted to crochet slippers to felt. Yours look good!